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Any vehicle owner would agree that getting a chip in your car’s paint hurts more than just the car.
Small scratches and scrapes would drive any car owner crazy, especially when your car is brand new. No matter how hard you try to avoid rocks and other debris, sometimes scratches are unavoidable. However, you can use paint protection films to help lower the risk of your car’s paint being damaged.
This list will cover the top five best paint protection films for cars. With a list of pros and cons, it will help you choose which is right for you.
Before we start this list, please know that these films offer light protection for your paint. They are meant to protect from gravel, sand, bugs and other debris. They will not protect your car from heavy impact. Continue reading for a list of frequently asked questions about these protective films.
Let’s take a look at the list.
- Top 5 Best Paint Protection Films For Cars In 2023 Reviews
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Preparation Tips
Top 5 Best Paint Protection Films For Cars In 2023 Reviews
1 3M Scotchguard Clear Paint Protection Bulk Film Roll
If you are looking for a paint protection film that is almost impossible to see installed, this is the one. Once it is on your car, it is virtually invisible.
With clear polyurethane film that is only 8mil thick and adhesive backing, it is thin but durable. This film will help protect your car from paint chips and bug damage while still looking great. It can also protect against stones, sand, gravel and other road debris.
This film has a transparent top-coat finish, allowing your car’s natural shine to continue showing through. If applied properly, you can easily remove it without damaging your paint. With a 60-inch roll, you have plenty of film to work with.
It can also be applied to your motorcycle, bike, dirt bike or any other vehicle surface you want to protect. This film will last for years without clouding, yellowing, lifting at the edges or cracking.
With a squeegee and soapy, warm water, any DIYer can install this on their own. The step-by-step instructions that can be found on this product’s website make installation easy and fast.
- Virtually invisible once installed
- Protects from gravel, sand, stone and other debris
- Car’s shine shows through without dulling
- Easy to install and remove
- Can be used on multiple surfaces, including cars, bikes, motorcycles and more
- One roll will not cover the entire car
- Instructions not included
- Need additional tools such as a squeegee to install
2 7MO Vehicle Vinyl Film Tool Kit For Car Wrapping
7MO created this kit to help you install your film paint protector like a pro. It is a professional vinyl wrap squeegee tool kit with all the tools needed for installation.
This kit includes a vinyl cutter, a retractable knife, a felt edge squeegee and a comfort handy grip knife. Each tool helps DIYers install protective film at home with precision cutting and application.
Once you have your vinyl film, you will be able to easily cut it to the size you need with these tools. The knives are sharp enough to make clean cuts through vinyl, so you have the best-looking protection on your car.
- Professional grade tools for installation
- Easy to use
- Makes precise, clean cuts
- Does not include protective film
3 Clear Defender SunTek Top Coated Paint Protection Bulk Film Roll
Clear Defender supplies various different protective films. The SunTek film roll is 12 by 120 inches and 8mil thick offering plenty of protection.
This film is made of clear, high gloss and self-healing polyurethane. It has an adhesive backing that secures to your car without damaging the paint if removed. SunTek protects your car from salt, bugs, gravel and other road debris.
SunTek film keeps your car looking new for years and is virtually invisible once it is installed. It is also specifically made to avoid dulling, yellowing, cracking or peeling. The film can be used to cover almost the entire car including the body and fenders. Even the headlights and inside of your doors can be covered for protection.
Once the film is installed, it can withstand elements such as rain, heat and snow. You can even wash the car as you normally would without damaging the film.
The film is easy for any DIYer to install with instructions available online. A bit of warm soapy water and a squeegee will help you install the film seamlessly.
- Protects from road debris such as bugs, stones, sand and salt
- Resistant to cracking, dulling, yellowing and peeling
- Easy to remove and install
- Virtually invisible
- Instructions are not included
- Need additional tools for installation
4 XPEL R4003-S Clear Surface Protection Film Roll
This surface protection film protects any surface from light scrapes and scratches. Once it is installed, it is virtually invisible.
Even with this protective film, your car’s surface will maintain its finish and will shine through. It keeps paint looking new for much longer by protecting from typical road debris. The film is 8mils thick and pliable, so it easily wraps around the curves of your car.
Installation instructions are included with the packaging, making it easy to any DIYer to install in no time. It even comes with a squeegee so all you need is soap and water to complete the kit.
The film protects more than just cars and can also be used on toolboxes, countertops, appliances and many more. You can even use it on your watch and phone surfaces.
XPEL film comes in three different roll lengths including 25, 60 or 84 inches. Choose how much you need based on how large your project will be.
- Protects multiple surfaces
- Installation instructions and squeegee included for easy installation
- Multiple lengths available
- Protects against many different road debris such as stones, sand and gravel
- Largest roll is not enough to cover an entire car
5 VViViD Clear Paint Protection Bulk Vinyl Wrap Film
VViViD is a company that creates an endless amount of different vinyl. This particular vinyl is a clear film made for protecting the paint on cars.
This film goes on virtually clear. It features an air-release, acrylic-based adhesive that is easy to install and remove. It can also be easily repositioned if you need to take it off and reapply it while installing.
VViViD clear film is scratch resistant and can last up to 4 to 7 years on outdoor surfaces. It can even be used on surfaces in your home or garage and will last up to 10 years. It is crack, yellowing, dulling and peeling resistant.
The film goes on completely clear and protects from grime, stones, gravel and other debris. It is also affective against bugs and natural elements like hail. Your car’s shine will not be dulled with this film and it can be washed just like a normal car.
This film can also be used to protect the surfaces of your boat, motorcycle, RV and other recreational vehicles.
With an included installation guide and squeegee, this product is easy for any DIYer to install. Simply cut the vinyl to size, wet with water and dish soap and apply. Use the squeegee to remove air pockets and you are done.
- Virtually invisible once installed
- Usable on multiple surfaces both indoor and outdoor
- Air-release adhesive is easy to reposition and remove
- Lasts up to 7 years outdoor and 10 years indoor
- Comes with installation instructions and squeegee
- If wrinkled, it will not lay flat and stick to the surface
- Need to cut and trim before and after installation
Frequently Asked Questions
This list of frequently asked questions will help you understand how this film works.
- Will Clear Paint Protecting Film Harm The Surface Of My Car?
Not if applied properly. By using warm, soapy water to apply this film, you can apply it without harming your paint. If you leave the film on longer than advised, it could potentially damage your paint. Pay close attention to the description and make sure to remove it if you see signs of peeling or cracking.
- The Film Looks Blurry, And I Want A Clear Look. Will It Dull My Car’s Paint?
No. When holding up this film, it will probably look translucent but not entirely clear. However, once you apply it and get all the air bubbles out, it will lay clear.
- Can I Remove The Protective Film?
Yes. With the proper technique to protect your paint, any of these films can be easily removed and reapplied if desired. It is important to do it correctly with a heat application to keep the film from damaging your car.
- How Much Film Do I Need?
This will obviously depend on the size of your car. Take measurements of the length and width of your car’s surfaces to help determine how much you need. The film will not deteriorate if you have some leftover, so you can store it and use it later.
- What Tools Do I Need To Install The Film?
You will need something to cut the film to size with, warm water with a small amount of dish soap and a squeegee. You may also want a small knife to trim the edges when you are finished. A kit like the 7MO Vehicle Vinyl Film Tool Kit for Car Wrapping has everything you need.
These answers will hopefully give you a better idea of how protective films work. Before you install a protective film, make sure your car is properly cleaned. Dirt and grime will interrupt the bond between your car and the film. It is also a good idea to add a good polish before applying the film. Another helpful tip is to use a headlight restoration kit before applying a protective film to your headlights.
Any of the products above would be ideal for protecting your car with a clear film. If you’re a beginner, you should use one that comes with instructions like the VViViD Clear Paint Protection Bulk Vinyl Wrap Film. Performance is just as important has the look of your car, so protecting it from scratches is key. These products can keep your car looking newer for longer which can also help keep the value up for years.